3 Materials & Construction Stocks Driving The Industry Higher

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer.

All three major indices traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 139 points (0.8%) at 17,996 as of Monday, March 9, 2015, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,624 issues advancing vs. 1,454 declining with 140 unchanged.

The Materials & Construction industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.4%. Top gainers within the Materials & Construction industry included Comstock ( CHCI), up 2.1%, China Ceramics ( CCCL), up 6.2%, Skyline ( SKY), up 2.0%, Sharps Compliance ( SMED), up 2.1% and TRC Companies ( TRR), up 4.8%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Sharps Compliance ( SMED) is one of the companies that pushed the Materials & Construction industry higher today. Sharps Compliance was up $0.11 (2.1%) to $5.43 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 62,555 shares of Sharps Compliance exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 29,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $5.24-$5.55 after having opened the day at $5.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.32.

Sharps Compliance Corp. provides management solutions and services for medical waste, used healthcare materials, and patient dispensed unused or expired medications in the United States. Sharps Compliance has a market cap of $84.2 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are up 24.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 3 analysts who rate Sharps Compliance a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sharps Compliance as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on SMED go as follows:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Health Care Providers & Services industry. The net income increased by 524.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.12 million to $0.75 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 18.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • SHARPS COMPLIANCE CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SHARPS COMPLIANCE CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.07 versus -$0.18 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 28.6% in earnings ($0.05 versus $0.07).
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. When compared to other companies in the Health Care Providers & Services industry and the overall market, SHARPS COMPLIANCE CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $0.39 million or 31.21% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Sharps Compliance Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

At the close, China Ceramics ( CCCL) was up $0.07 (6.2%) to $1.20 on light volume. Throughout the day, 13,100 shares of China Ceramics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 29,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.13-$1.25 after having opened the day at $1.13 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.13.

China Ceramics has a market cap of $22.7 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are up 39.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Comstock ( CHCI) was another company that pushed the Materials & Construction industry higher today. Comstock was up $0.02 (2.1%) to $0.99 on light volume. Throughout the day, 13,745 shares of Comstock exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 29,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.96-$1.01 after having opened the day at $1.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.97.

Comstock Holding Companies, Inc. operates as a real estate development and construction services company in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Homebuilding, Multi-family, and Real Estate Services. Comstock has a market cap of $19.1 million and is part of the industrial goods sector. Shares are down 5.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Comstock a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Comstock as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CHCI go as follows:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 28.20 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Household Durables industry and the overall market, COMSTOCK HOLDING COS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for COMSTOCK HOLDING COS INC is rather low; currently it is at 17.78%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -0.86% trails that of the industry average.
  • CHCI's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 44.20%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • COMSTOCK HOLDING COS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. During the past fiscal year, COMSTOCK HOLDING COS INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.10 versus -$0.47 in the prior year.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Comstock Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer.

More from Markets

Verizon Proves Resilient in Sell-Off; Decoding the Facebook Short -- ICYMI

Verizon Proves Resilient in Sell-Off; Decoding the Facebook Short -- ICYMI

Three Big Factors That Rocked the Stock Market Tuesday

Three Big Factors That Rocked the Stock Market Tuesday

Dow Tumbles Over 400 Points; S&P 500 and Nasdaq Also Finish Lower

Dow Tumbles Over 400 Points; S&P 500 and Nasdaq Also Finish Lower

Caterpillar Bulldozes Industrial Sector With Bad News on Earnings Call

Caterpillar Bulldozes Industrial Sector With Bad News on Earnings Call

Jim Cramer: If You're Afraid of the 10-Year Yield, Go to Cash

Jim Cramer: If You're Afraid of the 10-Year Yield, Go to Cash